The deal with Australian sunscreens – and the best formulas available here

The best sunscreen for the body, like facial SPF, is a very personal choice. In the end, the most effective for you is the one you will actually wear. “Sunscreen you don’t like to wear is sunscreen that will sit on your shelf unused,” notes Michelle Wong, cosmetic chemist and beauty science educator. And nobody needs that.

We know why sunscreen is so important: it protects against the threat of skin cancer caused by bouts of sunburn and sun exposure. Plus, it helps prevent premature aging — from the breakdown of collagen leading to sagging skin and wrinkles — and pigmentation issues, including the triggering of dark spots and melasma (mottled darkening of the skin on the face).

We also know that sun protection formulas are becoming more and more advanced; there’s no longer a need to settle for those that clog pores, leave white casts, or don’t blend well with makeup. Indeed, innovation in the sunscreen category happens all the time. Take the example of La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Weightless Invisible Fluid, recently reformulated with the Mexoryl 400 filter, the first of its kind to effectively protect against long UVA rays, which damage collagen structures. Or All Day All Year by Sisley, a luxury shield that activates the skin’s daily self-defense barriers. Then there’s Supergoop’s handy new SPF powder! which creates a physical block against UV rays, while acting as a mattifying finishing powder allowing for easy SPF refills. (Read more about all three here.)

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But you may have also heard that it is or an SPF originates from which can dictate its effectiveness – especially when it comes to regulations surrounding product claims. Enter Australian formulations, which are often touted as superior. How?

“Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, which is why the Australian government has the strictest requirements for sunscreen,” says Wong, originally from Sydney. “It is regulated as a therapeutic good (for example a drug), which means that the manufacturing requirements are higher. Australia also uses the same definition of “broad spectrum” as the EU, which is stricter than the definition used in the United States. “Broad Spectrum” means it protects against both wavelengths of UV light; UVA and UVB.

Wong also explains that: “Additionally, Australia uses the same definition of ‘water resistant’ as the US, which is stricter than the definition used in the EU” – after exposure to water for the period indicated on the label, the SPF of the sunscreen should remain at the labeled number. “In the EU, it can drop by half,” she confirms.

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Luckily, there are aesthetically elegant Aussie formulas available in the UK. Ultra Violette is one, shattering old standards of sun protection with its skincare-rich, sublimely textured offerings. For the face, we love the Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen Chemical Shield which provides a healthy glow. For a matte finish, turn to the equally excellent mineral alternative, Lean Screen. On the body side, the brand’s Extreme Screen Hydrating Body & Hand Skinscreen leaves limbs glowing without any greasy feeling.

Wong rates Bondi Sands sunscreens which are also all Australian approved, “meaning they’ve passed those high standards designed for Australia’s harsh sun.” She says, “Bondi Sands Sunny Daze SPF 50 Moisturizer is a great zinc oxide-based option for those with allergies to chemical sunscreens or who prefer a tinted product, while the fragrance-free SPF 50+ Sunscreen Lotion for the face is a chemical sunscreen with a light texture. without white plaster which works well for many people”. She also says it’s a smart option for the body. “If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities in the sun, you’ll want to look for a water-resistant product that can last longer on your skin.”

Another reason she values ​​the brand is because the products are modestly priced, which means people don’t skimp on the amount they use. “The adage ‘a little is enough’ doesn’t work with sunscreen! It’s a bit like paint – if you don’t have enough paint, parts of the canvas won’t be covered enough,” she explains. “You want to apply about a quarter teaspoon to your face alone.” For the body, it takes on average more than half a teaspoon for each arm and a whole teaspoon for each leg, back and chest.

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